... is called Aguas Calientes.
Yes, we are in that tiny tourist haven where the train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu ends. Haven because it has all a typical tourist could possibly want - really: tons of local, artisan stuff to buy, plenty of hotels and hostels in all price ranges, many restaurants and bars all with people outside welcoming you vigorously to have a drink or reciting the menu highlights (guinea pig anyone?), oh and if you want a massage - there are 6 different ones on offer here, too.
All that to say, it´s not our usual sort of destination on this journey, but it suits our purpose: to visit Machu Picchu and not be rushed into the 5-hour window the day trip allows. As well, there are the thermal hotsprings which lend Aguas Calientes its name. As Jan can attest to, rightfully so.
We´ll meet our guide, Washington, tonight for a briefing about tomorrow´s visit. I am afraid it´ll be another very early morning. But if it is like all the other early mornings, it´ll be worth the wake-up call.
We´ve decided to go directly to Patagonia from this part of our journey. The careful reader will note that we have decided to leave Arequipa/Colca Canyon and the Chilean Atacama desert to our next south american adventure. 3 months is turning out to be kind of short ...